Muskegon officer on leave over KKK item found

MUSKEGON, Mich. — A Muskegon police officer is on administrative leave after a Facebook post accused him of having items associated with a white supremacy group.

The department is opening an internal investigation into the post and has placed the officer on leave.

City manager Frank Peterson identified the officer as Charles Anderson, who was hired 20 years ago.

Rob and Reyna Mathis saw an application for citizenship to the KKK hanging in Anderson's home. The Mathis family had been touring his home, which is currently listed for sale. They saw a Muskegon police officer jacket hanging when they walked into the home, as well as photos indicating an officer lived there.

"In the bedroom, right across ... there was a plaque right up there," said Rob Mathis. "So being nosy, I walked over there and it was an application for the KKK. I said, 'oh no.' I told my son, 'don't touch nothing.'"

Rob Mathis immediately left the home and waited for his wife outside.

"I'm outside. I'm trying to calm myself down because I was touching those door knobs," he said. "I'm just sickened by even being in this house."

He posted the experience on social media. Through the post, he discovered the home belongs to Anderson.

"I think he should lose his job," Rob Mathis said. "There is no way a person who is racist should police the public. Muskegon is a very diverse community."

A photo of Charles Anderson.

Peterson said the department puts all recruits through a lengthy background check and performs physiological testing before hiring. He couldn't clarify what measures the department used before hiring Anderson because it happened well before he started.

Anderson told FOX 17 he didn't want to comment on the matter.

In 2009, Anderson was cleared of wrongdoing for shooting and killing Julius Johnson during a chase in Muskegon.

Investigators said Anderson used all available forms of non-lethal force during a physical struggle before firing the single shot that killed Johnson.

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76 comments

  • John Aldrin

    Come on now. Let’s all slow down for a minute.
    Think for yourself.
    Know for yourself the history.

    The Ku Klux Klan has existed in various forms for over 150 years – since the 1860’s. More than 5 generations. Relentlessly throughout that time masked men have used lynchings of men and women, beatings, assassinations, cross burnings, intimidation and terror to control people. At public lynchings, body parts were cut out and sold as souvenirs. Klan members have bombed churches and schools killing children. The masked members have shot up houses and burned them to the ground, usually in the middle of the night and driven farmers off their lands hunting and chasing them through the woods. They attacked and killed people and left their bodies on the roads in weekly assaults. They have killed thousands of people including leaders of churches, community groups and schools. People were abducted from jails and murdered leaving half-buried piles of bodies. People were burned alive.
    More than 4,700 people were lynched between 1882 and 1968 in the United States, including over 3,400 African Americans and over 1,200 whites for standing against the Klan. The latest was in 1981.

    The Mathis family should have been alarmed and repelled to see reminders of all this.
    Especially in the home of a police officer.
    Imagine.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ku_Klux_Klan
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynching_in_the_United_States

    • Jim Miller

      Sorry but I disagree! He had every right to display anything he wants (except maybe child porn) in his house! Any suggestion to suggest otherwise goes against his constitutional rights. I have several Confederate Battle Flags in my home and feel it is OK to display them if I want to and no one has the right to come in and complain about them, must less get me suspended or fired from my job. This is definitely racism and should not be tolerated, period!

      • Kath

        I agree with you Jim Miller, I believe the officer was setup. Now Mathis is whining because he is getting death threats. Mathis if you didn’t like what you seen then leave, but no you felt that you should post that application. I don’t wish any bad on Mathis but you brought this all upon yourself peace. If you want to give me your address I’ll send you some cheese and crackers and some wine to go along with it. Sorry! But not Sorry!

  • HarvardR

    Umm, does the application have Mr. Anderson’s name on it? Or is it simply an old document framed for its historic interest and has nothing to do with the officer. Actual reporters might want to actually report on actual, verifiable facts.

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